The train ride to the hospital

Monday the 20th I awoke feeling pretty terrible, didn’t sleep well at all. Tossed, turned, hot, cold, neck cramps, and back ache. Were all these rock solid beds catching up to my body? I couldn’t figure out why such the terrible nights sleep but I awoke, went to the train station to check out tickets for Ayutthaya and ended up purchasing a ticket that departed in 40 minutes! I had to run back to the hostel, pack my bags jimmy rigged and quick like and headed back to the station. They told me to wait at platform two, and I guess there is only 2 platforms so I was supposed to know which was which, while everything is labeled in Thai. I was waiting and waiting, no trains. I showed another guy my ticket and I had to hop the tracks in order to be on platform 2. At this point I was really hoping for some Harry Potter to come to life and tell me to head to platform 2 and 3/4. The train came, and boy was this a train…..an old, dirty, rickety, train. The loudest thing I have ever ridden in, clink, clank, bump, as you worked hard to stay in your seat. Remember the windows on school buses? Where you push in on each side and the window drops or raises, that’s what these windows were like, and you could drop them all the way down and well just hope out if you fancied. When I asked for the toilet, the guy laughed and pointed. I just sank in my seat, oh boy….why is he laughing. I mean toilets can be pretty bad here so how much worse can it get? Well I eventually had no choice but to find out. What I found was a dirty, silvery hole in the ground, I wouldn’t even consider it a squat toilet. I would call this “Dancing target practice” because you have to figure out the rhythm of the train and its sways and bumps while focusing on a hole in the ground in the squat position, without letting your pants near the ground, touching the walls, and maintaining your purse in your lap as well. And then you have to wipe (thank goodness they did have TP here). It was probably the most impressive squat Ive popped. Ever. And I had to do it twice on this 6 hour train ride. During the entire ride I had a migraine like I have never experienced before, I was sweating profusely while having goosebumps and chills and my entire body ached. I was not exactly sure what was going on but it did not make the train ride from hell any better. On top of the fact that hardly any English was spoken so I just prayed they would announce Ayutthaya. They announced every stopped, in Thai, and I never understood where we were. Nearing the time we were supposed to arrive in Ayutthaya I checked the maps on my phone, it appeared we had passed my stop, I failed to see the direction my little blue dot was heading of course. I asked if we had passed Ayutthaya the guy says “Ayutthaya, YES!” I am like, um no…? He says again “Ayutthaya, yes!” I repeated myself, we passed it? He says YES! and I begin to panic. I asked what I should do and he looked very confused, he told me there was 3 stops, I thought “Great, I am about to walk my happy ass from the middle of nowhere because I missed my stop” this chaos goes on for about 5 minutes, I eventually look at my phone again and see that we had in fact not passed Ayutthaya. Something I have learned, Thais don’t quite understand yes and no, or they dont say no. Regardless of what your asking they dont respond with “No”. Anyways, I arrived in Ayutthaya just short of a panic attack that afternoon, along with feeling like I was literally dying. I hoped off the train, ate some fruit, hopped on a 5B water taxi, got on the island and searched for a Hostel. Eventually I found what I was looking for on a street with lots of other backpackers, I stayed at a place called “Goodluck Guest House.” I got my room, and passed out for like 5 hours.

I awoke, still feeling of death. I came down to eat, got a little food down and determined my symptoms were pretty severe and concerning. I was about ready to head to the hospital as a friend of mine that lives here had suggested. I happened to meet another traveler, that little did I know would end up being an Angel for me the next few days. I told her how sick I was feeling and she had offered to go to the hospital with me. I decided to wait it out until the morning and headed to bed. Getting practically no sleep once again, tossing and turning. I was in the most pain I had ever felt in my entire life. My neck, my back, my knees, my elbows, my ankles, every joint on my body felt as though something had eaten away all the jelly substance that makes your joints move able. I would try to get up to go to the rest room and almost buckle to the floor. I couldn’t stand straight, everything hurt. I was constantly sweating, and freezing and it was near 95 degrees here. My head was pounding like I had been knocked out over and over. I was in a constant state of dizziness, like my head felt like it was floating and I was seeing black spots everywhere. I was drinking as much water as I could get down, this was crazy. Tuesday morning Marie-Laure (My new friend) came to check on me because I had not made it down before 10am. I let her know I needed to go to the hospital and she had offered and decided to come with. I thought that was so incredibly sweet. I mean I was pretty frightened to go to the hospital in a foreign country alone. To describe the hospital experience in short….First off, their medical staff and process is wonderful. I felt very taken care of, they sell coconut oil everything right when you walk in which is beautiful in itself. It is clean, nobody is waiting to be seen. But, for someone who does not speak Thai, or two of us that do not speak Thai, and a staff full of non English speaking individuals. This became scary, fast. Some English was spoken but barely. When trying to describe symptoms, how long, whats going on, with the hope that they are understanding me and going to be able to treat me correctly became scary and frustrating. Eventually, some tests were done, we barely had to wait around, but I was tired, I was in a lot of pain, I sweating like crazy, then getting very cold, I had this great women with me that had a lot more patience and tolerance than I did at this moment who helped me a lot. The first thought was Dengue fever, they out ruled the flu, and thank goodness Dengue fever. But informed me I had a Bacteria infection in my blood, but could not tell me where it was coming from or how I got it. That in itself is really scary. As well as hearing this in barely spoken English, and that I am going to take an antibiotic and hope it works and get better. What if thats a miss diagnose?! What if it doesnt go away?! What if I have a reaction to the antibiotic?! What if I get even more sick?! WHAT IF!?!? Well I had to have faith, and let these doctors do their job, and trust and believe that my god would not bring me here to die from some stupid sickness. It just isnt going to happen that way. After I think maybe a total of 3 hours spent at the hospital, I paid 100$ for everything, tests, doctors, and prescriptions and was on my way home. I managed to sleep on and off the rest of that day and most of Wednesday still in excruciating pain.
While I was at the hospital I managed to have a few emotional and mental breakdowns while telling family and a few friends back home that I was sick and at the hospital. When shit gets that serious you begin to really get home sick, and sick of not having anyone that speaks your language, and sick of being alone. Sometimes you just want your mom, and best friends. Well thats what I wanted, I cried a lot. I just wanted to give up, I wanted to go home. I had had enough, Maybe I wasn’t ready for this, maybe I am not prepared for anything to happen, maybe I am not a traveler. Sometimes I dont know how to cope, I struggle to just have faith and believe it will all be okay. Sometimes I just want comfort of family and friends, I want comfort of the known rather than constantly living in the unknown. Somethings I just want the easy route. Not everyone can be a world traveler and maybe I dont have the heart and the strength to keep traveling. I seem to be feeling weak often, and missing home often and struggling often so maybe this is my sign that I just need to come home. I gave it a shot, I traveled, I explored, I am sick now and I want my bed and my family. I am pretty sure voiced this to my mother, and a couple of my friends. I freaked my mom out pretty bad, which is something I am good at doing, when I panick I get others in a panick. I dont want to be adult about stuff. But I learned from this situation, I appologized to my mom. And I am an adult, in a foreign country, on my own-but creator is all around me protecting me I just have to remember that.

My siblings, my aunts, my parents, my friends all reached out to me while I was sick and gave me words of encouragement, motivation and pure love. I truely believe that everyones well wishes and thoughtful prayers lifted my spirit and my sickness because I eventually got better! I am so grateful to have the amazing and wonderful support that I have, it brings tears to my eyes. Everytime I recieved a message from someone I would literally cry happy tears. I cry a lot lately. Mostly happy, astonishing, joyful, grateful tears. I survived, I conquered the head, the thoughts, and the physical pain, I prayed a lot, and wrote a lot. Sometimes a sickness guides you to the healing light you need to begin to recover within the soul.

PS…I had started smoking again when I lost my vape here, I didn’t want to admit it because I hate it. But being sick a cigarette sounded disgusting and as I sit here and type it is Sunday and I have 5 days no cigs, now that I have quit I can admit it 😉

Love,
Alicia

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